I love entertaining at home. Cooking, decorating the space, crafting a cocktail menu and then watching as friends and family devour the fruits of my labor. I love it all.
I realize now that I’ve been groomed for entertaining since before I was even allowed in the kitchen. I learned what it means to cook for large groups of people from my father. And while there were no tasting menus, hors d’oeuvres, shiny flatware or never ending supply of champagne, you couldn’t actually call them dinner parties to tell you the truth, but it was how I first learned my obsession with food and cooking for others. My father knew how to make the smallest pot of food feed many people. He always had an extra plate for a friend randomly stopping by. I would listen in my room, my sister Nadia and I hovering over our own plates, as they praised his fried fish. Or the fluffiness of the rice. The way his vegetables made you want to eat them and nothing else. My father knows how to cook.
These days, I use my Jamaican upbringing, culinary education during high school and overall experiences and curiosity for flavors to guide my palette. I also watch way too much Food Network.
Warm Figs Chèvre & Honey on a Baguette
How old were you when you started liking figs? I admit that they took a while to grow on me. I started eating fig-infused pastries and meals at the start of my 20’s and I haven’t looked back since. This appetizer is perfect for those who have a sweet tooth before the main course. I could eat Goat cheese and honey on a baguette for the rest of my life.
honey, for drizzling
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350
Quarter the baguette so that you end up with 4 logs. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt to taste. I used pink himalayan salt because I prefer the light flavor. Place the bread on a baking sheet and put it in the oven for about 3 minutes. You want the bread a little golden brown, with the outsides slightly crispy and the middle still soft. You don’t want to toast them too much as they go back into the oven with the figs and cheese
Wash your figs to get rid of any dirt. I quartered mine because I wanted a chunkier bite but you can chop them smaller if you’d like. Sprinkle each log of bread with figs. Dollop some chevre on each log then place the baking sheet with the baguette slices, figs and chevre, back into the oven for another couple of minutes. You’ll see the cheese start to melt.
Pull from the oven, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with salt. I then use a knife to cut each log into smaller sections.
Check out my Sardine, Apple, Fennel and Arugula Crostini recipe here.
Have you seen my Jamaican Saltfish recipe?